Mazziotta Takes Home Medalist Honors at UCF Invitational
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eagles finish fifth behind senior’s second win of the season

ORLANDO, Fla. – Entering the day with a one stroke lead, FGCU men’s golf senior Dan Mazziotta (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake HS) fired his third straight under-par round and went on to defeat Liberty’s Robert Karlsson on the second playoff hole to take home medalist honors at the UCF Invitational. As a team, the Eagles finish the competitive 18-team field at Rino Pinar Country Club in fifth place.

The individual win is the second of the season for Mazziotta, who recently became FGCU’s all-time leader in rounds at par or lower (40). In the fall, Mazziotta won the Stetson Invitational with three straight rounds at par or lower.

“At the beginning of the year each of us set individual goals and one of mine was to win a tournament in the fall and spring. It feels good to accomplish that,” said Mazziotta, who sports a 70.0 stroke average over his last three tournaments. “I knew coming into the semester that I was close. The turning point for me is that I took the pressure off myself and I’m having fun. I’m enjoying every shot.”

Mazziotta’s two-under 70 on Tuesday was good for his fifth under-par round in the last two tournaments, but not enough to fend off Karlsson who matched Mazziotta’s first round seven-under par 65 to force the playoff.

After both birdied the first playoff hole, Mazziotta blasted a perfect drive that ran over 330 yards on the par 5, 2nd hole to put him in perfect position. With a 2-iron in hand from just over 240 yards out, Mazziotta put the pressure on Golf Week’s 51st-ranked player in the nation by finding the fringe of the green. From there, the Fort Myers native chipped up close and tapped in for his birdie and the win.

Combined with his seven-under 65 and three-under 69 on Monday, Mazziotta’s two-under 70 on Tuesday gave him a three-round 12-under 204 to equal the program record for 54 holes. In all, his scorecard over the two days featured 34 pars, 16 birdies and just four bogeys before carding birdies on both playoff holes.

“I’m proud of Dan for his play this week,” said head coach Brent Jensen. “He deserves the win for all the hard work he’s put in this year. As a team, we need to get better with our scoring clubs and short game. We were one round away from having a great tournament.”

Despite another solid round from Mazziotta, the Eagles shot a 296 in the final round to finish in fifth place in the field that featured six of Golf Week’s top 100 teams. The Eagles finished with a three-round 287(-1)-290-296/873. FGCU has finished in the top five in eight of nine tournaments this season.

No. 36 and host UCF took home the team title with a score of 23-under 841 (275(-13)-282(-6)-284(-4). Led by Karlsson, No. 39 Liberty made a charge on Tuesday with a 12-under 276, but finished just five strokes shy (846) of the Knights in second. No. 19 N.C. State (861) held onto the third spot with a final round two-under 286.

Junior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) supplied the Blue and Green’s second counting score of the day with his third consecutive two-over par 74. Pena finished in a tie for 36th in the 96-player field. Junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School) matched his first round 74 with another in the final round to tie for 60th overall (74-79-74/227).

Junior Gyles Robin (Jersey, England/De LaSalle College) and freshman Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University) each produced 78s on the day. Cote slipped into a tie for 44th place (74-72(E)-78/224), while Robin equaled Williams’ three-round 227 (74-75-78).

FGCU will be back in action at the FAU Spring Invitational on Friday, March 25. The three-day event will be held at Gleneagles Country Club.

T-1. Dan Mazziotta – 65(-7)-69(-3)-70(-2)/204(-12)
T-36. Brandon Pena – 74-74-74/222
T-44. Matt Cote – 74-72(E)-78/224
T-60. Patrick Williams – 74-79-74/227
T-60. Gyles Robin – 74-75-78/227

1. UCF (36) – 275(-13)-282(-6)-284(-4)/841(-23)
2. Liberty (39) – 283(-5)-287(-1)-276(-12)/846(-18)
3. NC State (19) – 291-284(-4)-286(-2)/861(-3)
4. Wichita State (139) – 292-289-291/872
5. FGCU (77) – 287(-1)-290-296/873
6. Campbell (92) – 302-282(-6)-293/877
7. Winthrop (195) – 292-289-302/882
8. Toledo (140) – 302-288(E)-294/884
9. Miami-Ohio – 297-295-298/890
T-10. FAU (187) – 298-294-299/891
T-10. Ball State (86) – 292-301-298/891
12. Seton Hall (202) – 301-296-295/892
13. Akron (102) – 301-291-302/894
T-14. Rhode Island (216) – 303-303-292/898
T-14. Marquette (150) – 300-294-304/898
16. George Mason (196) – 310-301-298/909
17. Houston Baptist (253) – 307-300-306/913
18. Northern Illinois (148) – 311-304-302/917